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“If your here, you gotta stop in!” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Howlers Bar & Grill

Howlers Bar & Grill
Ranked #6 of 13 Restaurants in El Castillo
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $5 - $10
Cuisines: Bar, Pizza
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Bar scene, Dining on a budget, Scenic view, Families with children
Dining options: Dinner, Outdoor Seating, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Takeout, Television
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level Contributor
29 reviews
19 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 161 helpful votes
“If your here, you gotta stop in!”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 13, 2013

Well, there's not a lot of competition around, so it's the best place around!
Even if there was some competition, it would be pretty good, bordering on great.
The care taken in designing the place, the owners, the staff ("Rasta man") not to mention the burgers ( I noticed a lot of reviews mentioned their burgers?)
Anyway, the night we went there, there was nobody else around (off season, dreary rainy night) but the owner said he'd open the place up anyway. The town is so small they literally (i am not making this up) text message each other and say "Yeah, we're coming down, open the place up" or something like that. Anyway, a few people stopped by while we were there, which made us feel better about them having opened up. "Rasta", the bartender, host, concierge, cook and local flavor was as welcoming as if there were 20 people to entertain. The music was good already, but he asked if we had any requests. We opted to just listen to the local music, rather than "American-fy" the experience. Tourists can be so....you know....boring. Experience the place the way it is. Why try to change it?
Anyway, the open air feel, the beautiful wood, ambiance, music, friendliness, cold beer, etc was perfect. Especially since it was walking distance to where we were staying. If you DID have a bunch of people vacationing together (or you happened to live there) it would be a good place to have a party. They literally had sold out of everything but burgers because of the rush the week before, but, you know, the menu was easy to understand, as they had.....burgers. They were so good, i had two. Well, partly because they were also out of fries! But i knew that because Rasta was very upfront about their menu! So, when in Rome! But hey, it must be because they were good enough to run out of food. You don't run out of food if the place is lame, do ya?
Only suggestions, stock a few different types of beer (they stock enough to satisfy most people) or even better, get a draft system! Boom! great idea! Dark beer, or something, you know, i mean beer keeps for a while, and who doesn't enjoy a good 'bitter' or draft or stout.
But other than that, it was the best food around!

  • Visited November 2013
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
1 Thank Mark N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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82 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    49
    23
    8
    1
    1
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Panama City, Panama
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Great Afternoon”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 6, 2013

Howlers is incredible. The ambiance is fantastic to just sit and take in the beauty of Costa Rica. Overlooking the lake while sitting surrounded by narural wood through out and a soft breeze of the pure Costa Rica air. The food is great some of the best in town, truly great meat for the hamburgers and great size, delicious french fries just like the Belgiums...Anything you want for drinks, the local beer Imperial, english and spanish speaking, a place for fun, relaxation, the beauty of Costa Rica and a happy spot for the locals too:)

  • Visited September 2013
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank 987mel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
2 reviews
“Can't wait to go again :)”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 18, 2013

My husband and I stopped in for a few drinks as we were staying up the road. It was recommended by "Mikey" one of the locals. We split a burger and fries. The food was awesome, aosphere was great. They even had their dog hanging out :) We had such a great time we came back the next night for dinner with my son and Mom. We can't wait to visit Costa Rica again and we will for sure stop at Howlers again!!!!!

  • Visited August 2013
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank Crystaldav1980
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Montreal, Canada
Level Contributor
29 reviews
10 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Best burger in Costa Rica !”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 14, 2013

This little gem is minutes away from the El Castillo village and we delight you with its amazing burgers and fries! A must do when visiting the Arenal volcano park!

Visited July 2013
Helpful?
Thank Le_ptit_palmier
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
31 reviews
22 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Great view of Arenal Lake!”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 7, 2013 via mobile

We were staying in El Castillo and were told that La Fortuna was a ways away, so our best bet was Howlers Bar and Grill. We were tired from travelling all day so we figured, why not? We ordered the cheese burgers and fries. The fries were delicious but the burger was under done and my wife's tasted real weird. The view is fabulous and the staff are really friendly. For me, I'm not a fan of seeing dogs roaming were my food gets prepared neither. It's worth the drive to La Fortuna in my eyes. But, if you'd like some drinks and snack on some fries with a great view, then this is the place!

  • Visited July 2013
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank pynecod
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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